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5 at-Home Exercises to Help Prevent Lower Back Pain

A healthy lower back is important to your overall mobility and wellness. Your lower back supports your spine, allows you to bend over and twist, and powers the muscles and nerves involved in walking.

Chronic lower back pain can be severe and make it hard to participate in activities you previously enjoyed. Although pain in the lower back can be extremely frustrating, for many people, doing a simple back exercise routine at home daily can reduce or stop the pain.

Ajit Pai, MD, FIPP, the board-certified pain management doctor at Pain Management Group, LLC in Mishawaka, Indiana, recommends these at-home exercises to anyone looking to prevent or decrease lower back pain.

Symptoms of lower back pain

Lower back pain can cause discomfort in the lower back and surrounding areas. Pain can range from dull and achy to sensations of stinging, tightness, or numbness. It can be difficult to walk, stand, or sit up.

Back pain can be acute or chronic. Acute pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks and then subsides, while back pain lasting at least three months is considered chronic.

At-home exercises to prevent lower back pain

Stretches targeting the lower back can relieve discomfort in mild to moderate cases of lower back pain and prevent future flare-ups. While you should make an appointment with Dr. Pai for a customized routine specifically targeted to resolving your back pain, these five exercises will help anyone looking for immediate relief.

1. Knee-to-chest stretch

Lie flat on your back and bend your knees so they are pointing to the ceiling, while your feet are flat on the floor. Grab one of your knees with both hands, and pull it gently to your chest.

Hold the stretch for five seconds, then return your knee to the original position. Repeat the stretch with your other knee, then pull in both knees at once. Try to repeat the entire sequence three times.

2. Press-ups

Start out by lying on your stomach. Place your hands flat under your shoulders, like you would before starting a pushup. 

Push your shoulders up using your hands, leaving your hips and legs on the floor and relaxed. Hold the position for a few seconds, then release and move back to the starting position before repeating 10 times total.

3. Bridge stretch

Start this stretch in the same position as the knee-to-chest stretch, by lying on your back, knees pointed up, and feet flat on the floor. Next, tighten your abdominal muscles, and raise your hips, creating a straight line starting at your knees and ending at your shoulders.

Take three deep breaths while attempting to hold the position, then return to the starting position. Initially, aim to repeat the exercise four more times.

4. Rotational stretch

You’ll also begin this stretch on your back, with feet on the floor and knees up. While your torso and shoulders stay in the same place, move both your knees to one side.

Hold the position for up to 10 seconds, then go back to your starting position and repeat on the other side. Do this exercise up to three times per side.

5. Cat stretch

Get on your hands and knees to begin. First, arch your back, imagining you are moving your stomach muscles to the ceiling.

After returning to the starting position, sag your stomach in the direction of the floor, moving your back in the opposite direction. Do this exercise up to five times.

Resolve lower back pain with a comprehensive treatment plan

If at-home stretches and other conservative treatments aren’t resolving your lower back pain, make an appointment at Pain Management Clinic, LLC. Dr. Pai evaluates your back pain, including performing testing if needed, and develops a plan to manage your pain.

Some lower back pain can be treated through conservative care, including taking over-the-counter pain medication, stretching, and physical therapy. If your back pain is severe, Dr. Pai can perform radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive pain management treatment, as well as a range of pain-relieving injections and nerve blocks in the lumbar region.

To find relief from lower back pain, make an appointment with Dr. Pai at Pain Management Group, LLC by calling our office at 704-208-9593.

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